Women Sweep UFC Vegas 39 Bonuses in Historic First

Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez, UFC Vegas 39
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 09: (L-R) Mackenzie Dern punches Marina Rodriguez of Brazil in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

For the first time in UFC history, all four post-fight bonuses at an event have been awarded to female fighters.

UFC Vegas 39 was an odd duck of a card that, on paper, underwhelmed. The lack of star power was plain as day, but as is so often the case, what failed to impress on paper turned out to dazzle in the cage.

The Fight Night event kicked off with three of four early fights ending inside the distance, with several bloodbaths on the preliminary card. While Charlie Ontiveros was smashed into submission by Steve Garcia, and Damon Jackson overcame a nasty gash to get the better of Charles Rosa, it was Lupita Godinez who really stunned.

Strawweight Godinez (6-1) secured her first UFC victory on Saturday, dominating newcomer Silvana Gomez Juarez prior to securing an arm-bar just before the end of round one. That earned her one of two Performance of the Night bonuses.

The other went to main card flyweight Mariya Agapova (10-2). In her first fight back from a loss to Shana Dobson, arguably the biggest upset in UFC history, Agapova battered the favorite in the fight, Sabina Mazo. Rocking “The Colombian Queen” early in the third round, she jumped on Mazo’s back to secure the rear-naked choke.

Fight of the Night at UFC Vegas 39 went to the main event battle between Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) and Mackenzie Dern (11-2). While Dern dazzled in the second round with her world-class jiu-jitsu, Rodriguez for the most part put on a striking clinic. Dern was simply out of her element, and when the takedowns wouldn’t come, she was picked apart en route to Rodriguez winning a unanimous decision.

The first women’s fight in the UFC came in February 2013, when Ronda Rousey defended her bantamweight title (having been promoted from Strikeforce) against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. Rousey would defend the championship six times in total, and earn five post-fight bonuses. With strawweight, flyweight, and (sort of) featherweight divisions later joining the promotion on the women’s side, the UFC has seen numerous female stars blossom under their watch. Until today, however, the post-fight bonuses had never been swept by the ladies.

All four fighters will pocket an extra $50,000 for their efforts in Las Vegas on Saturday.


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